Lora Iannotti on livestock and animal-source foods at Berlin’s Global Forum for Food and Agriculture

Lora Iannotti, associate dean for public health at the Brown School at Washington University, in St Louis, Missouri, at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

On 18 Jan 2018, one of ten expert panel discussions at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) was held on Sustainable solutions to the livestock sector: The time is ripe! This two-hour session was organized jointly by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) and the Livestock Global Alliance (LGA).

This session was moderated by ILRI Assistant Director General Shirley Tarawali. Following a welcome by ILRI Director General Jimmy SmithStefan Schmitz, head of BMZ’s division of rural development and food security and commissioner for BMZ’s special initiative on One World–No Hunger, gave an opening speech. Fritz Schneider, chair of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL), then gave a short overview of livestock and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, followed by a presentation by Kenyan Robin Mbae on livestock and climate change.

The next aspect looked at in more detail in this expert panel session was the role of animal-source foods in human nutrition. ILRI’s Shirley Tarawali introduced the participants to the speaker on this topic, Lora Iannotti, who is associate dean for public health and associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University, in St Louis, Missouri. Iannotti has considerable expertise in maternal and young child nutrition and nutrient deficiencies.

Iannotti started with her three key messages.

‘(1) Globally, 156 million young children have stunted growth and development. Animal-source foods (ASFs) can play a crucial role in meeting the World Health Assembly nutrition target to reduce stunting by 40% by 2025.

‘(2) Biological and evolutionary rationale underpin the need for animal-source foods in human nutrition. Animal-source foods provide not only protein but also limiting nutrients, the lack of which is related to poverty and infectious disease. These are vitamins A, B12, choline, iron and zinc, which occur in highly bioavailable matrices that enable people to absorb and metabolize them more efficiently

‘(3) Eggs and animal milk, among nature’s first foods, provide a sustainable solution for confronting critical nutrient deficiencies. Strong evidence is emerging for egg nutrition in reducing stunting and as biomarkers of brain development. . . .

Read the whole article on the ILRI News blog.